EU Agrees to Germany′s Electricity Unbundling Proposal | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 28.05.2008
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EU Agrees to Germany's Electricity Unbundling Proposal

A German plan to unbundle the country's power grid by transferring all four high-voltage networks into a joint holding dubbed Netz was agreed to by the EU Commission, a press report said Wednesday.

Series of electricity towers

The EU wants to liberalize the European electricity network

"The creation of a German grid holding is in principal an acceptable way of meeting our demands," EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper Wednesday.

The plan, proposed in response to the EU's policy strategy that would enforce the full unbundling of grid ownership, would combine the German power grids operated by the utility companies EON, RWE, Vattenfall Europe and EnBW.

"This is a good way for Germany," said an EON spokesperson.

The Devil is in the details

Man's face in front of blue background

EU Energy Commissioner Piebalgs agreed "in principle"

In order to meet the EU's demands that the gas supply be separated from the generation of electric power, however, Piebalgs stressed that none of the utility company owners should have a dominate influence on the holding.

The EU created this policy in a move designed to spur competition on the European energy market. Germany, along with seven other EU member states, has rejected the policy and the joint holding was proposed as a compromise.

Agreement came too late for EON, however. The Duesseldorf-based company agreed several weeks ago to sell part of its distribution network.

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